Menopause is a rite all menstruating women go through, but it can be an easy journey

Menopause: The Time of the Wise Woman

Spring carries the energy of the maiden – the prepubescent girl with her whole life ahead over her. Summer is the young mother, pregnant or having just given birth. Autumn is the experienced mother, still guiding her children, but watching them make their own decisions.

Winter is the time of the crone.

If you look at the definitions of crone online you find:

an old woman who is thin and ugly.

Or that she’s cruel, malicious or sinister.

But if you dig into the archetype of the crone or listen to the stories women tell each other about old women you see something different. You see a wise woman who uses the lessons she’s learned in life to guide those younger than her to the right path.

The crone teaches us that death cycles are inevitable. Winter always comes, age marches on and one day, we too will be grandmothers. And that scares us. It scares us in the way the nadir of death cycles always scares us. We don’t like cold, we don’t like darkness and we don’t like endings.

But every woman who menstruates will one day go through menopause. That process will mark the end of her reproductive days. As an ending, that’s scary. As a process, it can be frustrating.

This post has two purposes: to give you a guide through menopause to make the transition from mother to crone (or Wise Woman, or Grandmother) go more smoothly and also to show you that as part of a cycle it may be an ending, but it is not the End.

Menopause is a rite all menstruating women go through, but it can be an easy journey

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Menstruation is a source of shame, concern and pain for many women but it doesn't need to be that way

Taming the Red Dragon: Menstruation in Chinese Medicine

Last week I introduced the concept of death cycles on the Instagram feed. In a nutshell, a life cycle is a cycle an organism follows from birth to the point they reproduce and their offspring begin their own life cycle. A death cycle follows an organism through all the processes of birth, life, death and potential rebirth.

The handy thing about death cycles is that since the year is its own death cycle we can use it as a guide. Spring is birth, summer is growth, fall is decline and winter is death. The unique thing about winter is that it’s the season that contains all the things we, societally, fear, are ashamed of, or hate.

Cold, darkness, old age, labor, and menstruation.

When you work with the seasons and death cycles, you learn that decline is a part of life and it’s usually a healthy part of the process. Trees wouldn’t flourish in the summer if they didn’t rest in the winter, the day doesn’t happen without the night and we wouldn’t continue our reproductive cycle without healthy menstruation.

Have you been told your entire life that your period is gross, something you shouldn’t talk about, something shameful or even, sinful?

What would happen if you saw it has a healthy sign of ovulation and embraced it as a time of rest? My bet is that it would be life changing and if you’re interested you should definitely read on.

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Flower essences are ideal for emotional support, and are a great supplement to care during the postpartum period

Flower essences for the Baby Blues

Did you know that up to 75% of mothers will experience the baby blues postpartum?

The baby blues are an emotional and mental shift that happen when the cocktail of pregnancy hormones rapidly decreases while at the same time, a mother learns how to interact and care for her new baby. It’s a stressful time but it tends to be relatively short.

But 10-20% of mothers (and some new research shows that it may be higher) will develop postpartum depression, which has more severe symptoms than the baby blues and can but the mother’s life in danger. Postpartum depression or PPD often develops six months postpartum and sometimes as late as one year.

I go into more detail about the differences in this blog post but for this blog post I’d like to say right now: if you are showing signs of depression including withdrawing from friends and family, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy and having no interest in the baby talk to your midwife or primary care provider.

Flower essences can be very supportive in helping with emotional and spiritual shifts and are a powerful energetic medicine, but PPD can be life-threatening. Make sure that you have a support system in place before supplementing your care with flower essences.  

Flower essences are ideal for emotional support, and are a great supplement to care during the postpartum period

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Flower essences are a complementary therapy that can help with the emotional and spiritual aspect of labor induction and birth preparation

Flower essences for birth preparation

Flower essences for labor induction? Can it be?

Flower essences on their own? No, probably not. But while flower essences and Traditional Chinese Medicine are two separate systems, TCM theory opens the door to using flower essences as part of a natural birth plan.

Many births are delayed and labors prolonged because of the emotional and hormonal state of the mother. Birth can be stressful and scary, and sometimes we’re carried away by the hormones tearing their way through our systems. Flower essences can help bring us back into harmony, and anchor us in a place where we can trust the process, relax into the flow and enjoy the beauty of our graduation from mom-to-be to mama (or even, multi-mama).

Flower essences are a complementary therapy that can help with the emotional and spiritual aspect of labor induction and birth preparation

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Fresh Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Last weekend I was sitting in my mother in law’s house and I found myself craving a cup of red raspberry leaf tea. Sometimes your body just tells you that you need something. One problem: I was in the middle of the woods, half an hour away from a store that might have red raspberry leaf tea.

But I was a five minute walk from a raspberry patch.

I love red raspberry leaf tea in general, but there is something about a fresh tea that is so much more bright and whole. So for today’s blog post I wanted to show you how I made my North Woods fresh Red Raspberry Leaf tea and how you can make some of your own.

Out of tea but have a raspberry bush? Forget the tea bags and make it fresh instead!

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Reverie Acupuncture is one year old! What ten posts did readers find the most useful over the past year? Click to find out!

First Birthday Post Round-Up

Happy Birthday, Reverie!

Reverie Acupuncture is officially one year old on August 24th, 2018. It’s been an awesome year of community acupuncture, mamas, babies and blog posts!

I’d like to save my big announcements for my Winter Party that I’m planning so today let’s celebrate by looking at the top 10 posts that readers of Reverie have found most useful.

Reverie Acupuncture is one year old! What ten posts did readers find the most useful over the past year? Click to find out!

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Why you need to stop #hustling

Type A people have it rough.

It’s not that the world is hard on Type A people. The world at large loves Type A people. They are doers and movers and shakers. Type A people are hard on themselves (which is probably why they’re more susceptible to heart disease and stroke.)

Type A people just keep going, digging deep into yang energy and using its rocket fuel to start businesses, create art and move forward in everything.

Type A people don’t know how to stop.

Imagine being in the North Woods of Minnesota. Sunlight warms the wooden porch floor. The sounds of water lapping on the shore and children playing follow the breeze through the open windows. It’s 80, and beautiful and you’re on your laptop because you won’t. stop. working. 

That’s Type A.

Because the Type A definition of relaxation is speed boats out on the lake, wakeboarding, water skiing and high energy water sports. It’s wiring together fireworks and cooking for 100 people.

Type A people are all about the hustle.

I’m here to tell you that America is Type A. And we need to turn it down a notch.

The 24/7 hustle is about doing the work, but doing the work 24/7 is making us sicker, less productive and less efficient. Read more about how adding a bit of yin to your life will make doing the work easier and more effective.

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Women’s Water: A Yin Tonic

Yin deficiency signs are pretty clear:

  • flushing face
  • night sweats
  • hot flashes
  • dry throat
  • insomnia
  • racing thoughts when you try to go to bed at night
  • sore back
  • constipation
  • ringing ears/tinnitus
  • dizziness

You know what this sounds like? Menopause. Or for some women, menstruation. Or others just…life.

You see, women are mostly yin. We are yin to the masculine yang. So yin deficiency tends to be a bit more obvious in us. Maybe that’s why in my practice this recipe is the one I tend to recommend the most.

So why is it that this simple tonic can be so helpful for women? Read on.

The easiest Traditional Chinese Medicine recipe ever - a yin tonifying water for women

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Postpartum depression affects thousands of women and is much more serious than the baby blues. Knowing the difference could save your life.

Postpartum depression and the baby blues

This has been a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time, I just haven’t known where to start. But sometimes starting a post is a matter of putting my butt in a chair and my hands on a keyboard.

We don’t like to talk about depression as a society. We talk about it in quiet places, in shadowy spaces and in clinic offices. We talk about it in shame and secrecy. And the shame and secrecy around depression is a significant contributor to the tragedy of suicide.

Postpartum depression affects thousands of women and is much more serious than the baby blues. Knowing the difference could save your life.

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